News

Lifetime offices closed but ‘business goes on’ and clients can contact financial planners and staff

All our lives are in some sort of upheaval due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

We know that people are anxious right now, including our clients. Even those who have a long-term, trusted relationship with their Lifetime financial planner may be concerned about their money and investments, as the Coronavirus continues to impact the UK and the world.

Rest assured, as a company we are continuously monitoring developments and government notifications, and thanks to the innovation we embarked upon over a year ago we are in a position whereby we can maintain our commitment of excellent client service.

These are not normal days we are living through, of course, so we have taken the necessary steps to protect our staff as best we can, and to protect the running of the company.

In line with government guidelines, the Lifetime offices are closed until further notice, but a good number of our staff are working from home.

And so, for the most part, it remains ‘business as usual’.

We understand that, in these uncertain months, you might need our services more than ever. Keeping clients reassured and informed is of paramount importance to us, especially with the ever-changing Coronavirus news and guidelines we are given.

Our financial planners, pension specialists, mortgage advisers, communications team and support staff are all set up to continue working through this crisis, at home, and we can deal with calls, emails and client meetings via Zoom screen-to-screen technology.

If you need us for anything in this unprecedented time, then please call your financial planner on their mobile number. If you have not got that number then phone office number 01226 208600 for further instructions.

We do urge all our existing clients, if they haven’t already done so, to register to our safe and secure online Client Portal, where all your documentation can be stored and you can communicate with us.

If you are not already set up on the portal then please get in touch with our Communications team, by email, at communicationsdept@lifetime-fm.com and they will help get you registered. If we haven’t got your email address, or if you have a new one, then please let our Communications Department know so they can send you a registration email.

And to those people who are currently looking for advice regarding their finances, be it financial planning, pensions, investments or for a mortgage, we are here, ready, willing and able to help.

These are turbulent times, we know and appreciate that. Together we will get through it.

Stay safe.

– Your Lifetime Team

Lifetime are also very active online, in particular in terms of our social media.

If you don’t already do so then please connect with us on the following platforms. We put a lot of stuff out and it is a great way to stay connected.

Twitter: @LifetimeFM

Facebook: Lifetime Financial Planners

Linkedin: Lifetime

Instagram: iamflo_lifetime

Website: www.lifetime-fm.com

Watch Lifetime’s latest webinar

In our latest webinar, Lifetime director and chairman of the company’s Investment Committee Rupert Smith is joined by special guests Peter Westaway, the Chief European Economist at Vanguard, and Angie Staunton, an APFC Chartered Financial Planner and Vanguard’s Business Development Manager.

Peter talks about the economy, explaining the impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, while Angie explained the merits of Vanguard LifeStrategy funds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_CtYkvY9q4&feature=youtu.be

May we go into this new month with positive purpose

Today the sun is shining. Well, it was when the words started to tumble out for this piece! It is a new day. The first of a new month. May 1st 2020. Do you find optimism in that?

Please try.

Times are tough. Normality has had to take a back seat. A crisis has descended on the world world, enveloping our country, and our people, in the process, and making life hard, in some tragic cases unbearably so.

We are trying our very best to be positive in everything we are doing right now. Have you noticed how everyone else is doing the same? Well, almost everyone else……!

Of course, it is hard to be positive all the time. It is only natural for there to be occasions when you don’t feel very positive – and you worry about what might happen. We have those switches in mood too. But then we see someone showing leadership, like war veteran Captain-now-Colonel Tom, and all those magnificent people on the front line battling this Coronavirus, and that makes us get right back on the ‘positivity trail’ once again.

This matters. It matters to us. It matters to our clients. It matters to us all. It matters now and it will matter in the future.

Moods are contagious. Please be the one to spread your good mood. There will be others, friends, family, who may need that ‘good cheer’ so, so much right now.

We hope that you are all feeling optimistic today, on the first of May. In these parts, April ended with a gorgeous double rainbow, perhaps letting us know that there are lovely things still to witness on this earth of ours. We hope that you are trying to spread those positive vibes as much as you can, attempting to have a positive effect on those around you. It helps. It really does.

Everyone has a role to play. There is some comfort and reassurance to be gained from the fact we’re all in this together. We will get through this and we believe we will get back to living the life we want to live.

Be safe. Stick in there. Be positive. Look after yourself, and the people you are in contact with. 😀👏😀

Clients deliver positive feedback for Lifetime webinar

Lifetime has received some lovely feedback from the ‘Coronavirus Economic Update Webinar’ we staged for clients on Wednesday morning.

In a live format, Rupert Smith, chair of Lifetime’s Investment Committee, was joined by special guests Dr Peter Westaway, the Chief European Economist at Vanguard, and Angie Staunton, an APFC Chartered Financial Planner and Vanguard’s Business Development Manager.

Peter talked about the economy, explaining the impact of the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, while Angie explained the merits of Vanguard LifeStrategy funds.

These are a few positive responses from clients:

“Just watched the webinar, I thought it was brilliant! It is clear to me that I am in the correct place with my portfolio. Please pass on my thanks to James and Rupert for organising and presenting. The sessions by Peter and Angie from Vanguard were pitched to me so I could understand it to the extent that the questions I submitted are no longer relevant and do not require further action. My mind is at rest in so much as whatever happens to the market my fund is in the best place it could be.”

“I just wanted to thank you for the invite to this morning’s webinar. I am a numbers guy so the figures and graphs shared by Peter and Angie were both interesting and illuminating. Take care and please let me know if you hold any future webinars.”

“Really enjoyed Peter’s presentation – very interesting/challenging/exciting times. Cheers & ta again.”

“Very good and very interesting. Thank you.”

“Found the webinar extremely useful and supportive. Can you thank all involved.”

Lifetime client grateful for Rupert’s world class service

Our director and pension specialist Rupert is renowned for delivering world class service to clients.

He stepped up to the plate again to help a household where Lifetime look after their financial affairs.

The lady had sadly seen her husband pass away recently and needed help with his drawdown pensions.

Rupert (pictured below) didn’t hesitate.

He duly received this message from the lady:

“The money from Nucleus has been paid in, which was a nice surprise as I didn’t expect it being that quick. I’ve also checked my husband’s Nucleus account and there is correspondence on there relating to it.

“I would like to thank you for everything you did for my husband. I know he had tremendous trust and respect for you, and I would like to thank you for everything you have done for me, sorting out his account in a caring and sensitive way.”

 

Clients invited to Lifetime Coronavirus Economic Update Webinar

Lifetime Coronavirus Economic Update Webinar – Wednesday 29th April 2020, 10:30 AM

In a live format, Rupert Smith, chair of Lifetime’s Investment Committee, will be joined by special guests Dr Peter Westaway, the Chief European Economist at Vanguard, and Angie Staunton, an APFC Chartered Financial Planner and Vanguard’s Business Development Manager. Both have a tremendous wealth of experience in the financial services industry.

Peter will talk about the economy, explaining the impact of the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, while Angie will explain the merits of Vanguard LifeStrategy funds.

We look forward to an informative and lively discussion, as well as an interactive Q&A session. It is something that we believe would be beneficial for you to be a part of too.

If you are a Lifetime client and haven’t yet received an invitation for this event, please send an email to j.fisher@lifetime-fm.com.

LifeStrategy – The Journey Continues…..

As we enter the fifth week of ‘lockdown’ caused by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, we thought it important to update you with a little of the information available to us through our various professional bodies.

As I’m sure you will appreciate, it is extremely difficult to assess the likely timescale for the current situation but it does appear that, for the time being at least, markets have stabilised somewhat.

The over-arching view from commentators at the moment appears to support the view that although the downturn has been remarkably steep in nature, it will hopefully be followed by a relatively speedy recovery.

Of course, the further quantitative easing (QE) measures announced by central banks around the world and in particular the financial assistance to businesses in the United Kingdom via the employee furlough scheme have helped enormously. Some will argue that the ‘cure’ may be worse than the ‘disease’ from a monetary standpoint. Will this much needed assistance lead to a further period of financial austerity measures for example?

Only time will tell regarding these points! Further fiscal ‘belt-tightening’ in the future would go against this government’s stated aim but these policies were outlined in December 2019, well before the current crisis emerged. It is possible central banks will simply buy government debt (QE) to make capital available to the economy and then not release these bonds back to the market for re-sale in the future. Effectively, this is ‘printing money’ and can lead to inflationary pressures within an economy if done regularly, but as a one-off measure this inflationary outcome is unlikely.

So, there is much to ponder but, amongst all of this ‘noise’ our message remains unchanged. Stay the course! The vital factor in investment success is ‘time in the market’ not timing the market. Many of the largest single day recoveries occur within two weeks of the largest single day declines. Judging the timing of those occasions is virtually impossible and so we should not try. When you were younger and your mum used to say ‘patience is a virtue’ – she was as ever, correct!

The Vanguard LifeStrategy funds (when compared to their peers) continue to hold their value very well indeed. In the three-month period to 17th April 2020, the 40% Equity Fund showed losses of 5.13% compared to the sector average loss of 11.12%. The 60% Equity Fund has shown a loss of 8.79% compared to the sector average of 13.49% over the same period. In fact, looking back over the last 12 months, the 40% Equity Fund is still showing an overall gain of 2.54% with the 60% Equity fund showing a slight loss of 0.41%.

These figures we feel, clearly demonstrate the value of a heavily diversified investment portfolio and give valuable evidence as to why Lifetime continues to believe Vanguard LifeStrategy Funds provide good potential for future positive returns.

Of course, if you have any issues you need to be addressed from a personal financial viewpoint then please contact your adviser directly who will be glad to provide any assistance required.

 

Rupert Smith – Director (Chair of Investment Committee – Lifetime)

  • Rupert’s previous report, entitled Lifetime’s case for Vanguard LifeStrategy, can be read here:

Lifetime clients appreciate message of support and guidance

Lifetime has been communicating regularly with clients during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, either by email, telephone or video technology, and the messages of support and guidance we have issued have been very much appreciated.

It is ‘business as usual’ for the company, with the majority of our financial planners, pension specialists, mortgage advisers, communication team and support staff working from home, and keeping everyone informed about what is going on during this unprecedented period.

And we have received some lovely responses from grateful clients.

Pension specialist Steve Lambarth has been busy contacting clients and keeping them fully informed and up to date, and he has received this nice message back. He’s particularly happy with the ‘star’ bit……..!

“Steve, you are a star. Thank you for your wisdom.”

He also had this one:

“Dear Steve, Many thanks for your call and email.  It is reassuring to know things are not as bleak as portrayed in the news. Regards to you and all your family in these strange times! PS: Thanks again for calling my Dad. He is always pleased to speak to an Owl!”

Financial planner Paul Lee has also received some great messages back. Here are a few:

“Paul, thank you for the mail. It is good to hear from you and I hope that you and your family are well. I am okay so far. I look forward to welcoming you in Ripon one day! Take care and best wishes.”

“Solid advice and a reassuring reminder Paul. It is comforting to know my hard earned money and investment is in safe hands. Many thanks all and stay safe.”

“Thank you for your email Paul, it is reassuring to receive messages such as yours. I put my faith in your company and know that you will do what is within your power to support the best outcome. What is more important than money is you and your family, so please keep safe. Best wishes.”

This one came from a client of Lifetime director and Technical Pension Specialist Jeff Winter:

“Jeff, I trust you and your family are keeping well. I’ve just picked up the communications from Lifetime which I find very encouraging in such dismal times. Like most with investments and ones that intend supporting the rest of my life, I have been watching with horror what the virus has done to the FTSE and balancing this with the human tragedy that is unfolding in front of our eyes. It’s enough to make you question your sanity! But the missives from Lifetime are balanced, well timed and above all most appreciated. Stay well.”

Also, Pensions Department manager Tom received this one:

“Thank you for the awesome advice. Once again you have helped me out. This is why I use Lifetime. And I will always recommend you. Stay safe and l will see you when all this madness has gone.”

And Financial planner Brian Howard got this response:

“Thanks Brian for the email. Hope you and your family remain safe and well.”

Financial Planner Tracey Warring was told:

“Thank you for the email, it is nice to know even though the world is going through such a difficult time someone cares. My investments are in your hands and  I have every confidence in you and Lifetime. I look forward to our meeting when things improve.”

Fellow adviser Steve Baskind got this response:

“Thanks Stephen, worrying times when markets are down and everyone is losing on their investments. I realise its long term we have to look at. Just hope the markets bounce back.”

Director and pension specialist Rupert Smith got a very short and succinct reply!

“Helpful, ta.”

And lastly, from Lifetime Social Media Manager Andrew Lodge:

“I have had a lovely conversation with St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds, who have received our latest referral scheme cheque, and wanted to thank us by telephone, as they are not sending out thank you letters by post.

“It was our pleasure. Stay safe.”

Lifetime’s case for Vanguard LifeStrategy

Following the communication earlier this week regarding discipline being one of an investor’s greatest ‘weapons’ we thought it would be beneficial to impart some of the very latest information provided by Vanguard to the United Kingdom’s adviser force via a webinar on 26th March 2020.

As we previously stated, the ability to ‘sit tight’ in uncertain financial times has never been more important and this is borne out by some of the empirical evidence provided by Vanguard.

The majority of our clients invest within a cautious to moderate or moderate environment utilising Vanguard’s LifeStrategy range of funds.

Between the 1st January 2020 and 24th March 2020 the LifeStrategy40% Equity Fund has demonstrated losses of 7.7% with the sector average showing losses of 16.2%.

The LifeStrategy60% Equity Fund has shown a loss of 11.8% against a sector average of 19.4% over the same period.

Although losses are not a desirable outcome the fact that the LifeStrategy funds are significantly outperforming their peers is very encouraging and testament to Lifetime’s investment principles.

It is also vital to once again stress the importance of having the discipline to wait for recovery if at all possible. Information provided by Vanguard on Thursday (26th March) provides reassurance in this regard.

At the height of the financial crisis (December 2007 to February 2009) the back-tested LifeStrategy40% showed maximum losses of 14.54%. The recovery time for the fund following that time period was 6 months. The LifeStrategy60% fund showed back-tested maximum losses of 21.80% and took a slightly longer 9 months to recover. If nothing else this demonstrates the need for patience.

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your adviser directly who I’m sure will be happy to address them.

Rupert Smith – Director (Chair of Investment Committee – Lifetime)

Wrap platform Transact ‘resilient and financially strong’

One of our main wrap platforms of choice, Transact, has issued words of encouragement during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

Transact released a statement which read:

“We are continuing to review and implement guidance as it is received from the government. All of our staff are now working from home.

“Our priorities remain the welfare of our staff and delivering the best service possible for our clients, while monitoring and adhering to UK government advice and guidance relating to COVID-19 Coronavirus.

“Staff are adapting well to the new working arrangement and we are taking steps to ease this transition for them.

“Transact’s parent company, Integrafin Holdings plc, is a financially sound business with capital and liquidity well in excess of minimum regulatory requirements. Our 2019 financial results confirmed that we are profitable and hold over £40m liquid capital over and above our requirements. We remain financially strong and resilient.

“Our Transact staff continue to be committed to delivering the best service possible and your patience and understanding is much appreciated in these challenging times.”